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It's All Politics
10:24 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Obama's Road Trip To Conclude With Florida Break

President Obama plays a learning game while visiting children at College Heights Early Childhood Learning Center on Thursday in Decatur, Ga. Obama's campaign-style trip this week was to end with a nonworking stop in Florida.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 10:41 am

President Obama will cap off a busy week of politicking with some R&R in Florida.

Obama plans to travel to the West Palm Beach area for what his spokesman called "some well-deserved downtime."

"He's going to spend Presidents Day weekend relaxing with some friends," said White House spokesman Josh Earnest. "There's no work on the schedule."

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The Two-Way
10:08 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Prosecutors: Former San Diego Mayor Gambled Away $1 Billion

Maureen O'Connor, center, and Mayor Ed Koch in 1987 in New York.
Marty Lederhandler AP

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 5:06 pm

In a federal court today, prosecutors said former San Diego Mayor Maureen O'Connor misappropriated $2 million of her late husband's charitable foundation because of a gambling addiction.

During a period between 2000 and 2008, reports the San Diego Union Tribune, prosecutors say O'Connor gambled away more than $1 billion.

The paper reports:

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The Two-Way
9:48 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Canada To Zombies: Drop Dead, Eh

Canadian zombies dress for success. (An Occupy Vancouver "Zombie Walk" in October 2011.)
Sergei Bachlakov Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 5:06 pm

Apparently, the undead aren't even welcome in the ever polite Great North.

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The Two-Way
9:42 am
Thu February 14, 2013

With GDP Slip, German Economy 'Finally Lost Its Invincibility'

Today we got more troubling news for the world economy: Germany's GDP slipped 0.6 percent in the final quarter of 2012, sending the Eurozone deeper into recession.

The Guardian spoke to Carsten Brzeski and analyst for ING, who said:

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The Salt
8:39 am
Thu February 14, 2013

When Resistance Is Futile: Bring In The Robots To Pull Superweeds

An illustration imagines what a weed-seeking robot could look like, armed with different tools to attack different problem plants.
Courtesy Steve Young

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 9:08 am

A future without weeds would be a kind of farmer utopia, but currently, herbicide-resistant "superweeds" are part of today's reality. Some researchers, though, are looking for a solution that seems ripped from science fiction: weed-seeking robots.

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Interviews
8:38 am
Thu February 14, 2013

A Valentine's Campaign To End Violence

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan.

This morning, hundreds of Somali men and women gathered in a community center in Mogadishu after a flash mob. Campaigners in Parliament Square in London held up one finger while MPs debated violence against women inside Westminster. And hundreds of Egyptian sang and danced after 10 a.m., Cairo time, all that from live coverage provided by The Guardian. Events all marked V-Day and its One Billion Rising campaign, designed to boost awareness of violence against women all over the world.

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Business
8:38 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Will The US-American Merger Make The Skies Less Friendly?

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 8:46 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. You can soon add US Airways to a long list that includes TWA, Pan Am, Eastern, Western, Braniff and so many others. US Airways will merge with American. The new American Airlines will be the world's largest, and after decades of consolidation, one of just four major airlines in the U.S.

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National Security
8:38 am
Thu February 14, 2013

'Zero Dark Thirty' Renews Torture Debate

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 10:46 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. One of the most critically acclaimed and most popular films of the year, "Zero Dark Thirty," is up for five Oscars, including Best Picture. The film follows the hunt for Osama bin Laden and sparked controversy for its depiction of CIA interrogation techniques, including water boarding.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "ZERO DARK THIRTY")

JASON CLARKE: (As Dan) Come on, give it to me. Hasam(ph) was a friend of Gramzi Yusef(ph). You guys met in Iran back in the '90s.

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The Two-Way
8:36 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Reminder: An Asteroid Buzzes By On Friday (But NASA Says Don't Worry)

An illustration of what asteroid 2012 DA 14 may look like as it approaches Earth.
NASA/JPL-CalTech EPA /LANDOV
  • Nell Greenfieldboyce, for the NPR Newscast

NASA calls it a "small near-Earth asteroid."

And though "2012 DA14" will come within about 17,000 miles of our planet and be closer than some satellites, the space agency assures everyone that "there is no chance that the asteroid might be on a collision course with Earth."

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The Two-Way
8:07 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Airstrike In Afghanistan Renews Concerns Over Civilian Casualties

Gen. Joseph Dunford, the new U.S. and International Security Assistance Force, or ISAF, commander in Afghanistan, has only been in charge for a few days, and already he's been summoned to Afghan President Hamid Karzai's office for what looks like a dressing down, according to a press release from the president's office.

Dunford was called in to discuss what was initially reported as an ISAF airstrike in Kunar province that killed 10 civilians late Tuesday night.

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The Two-Way
8:07 am
Thu February 14, 2013

New Documents Provide Insight Into Relationship Of Presidents Clinton, Nixon

Former President Richard Nixon visits with President Bill Clinton in the family quarters of the White House, March 8, 1993.
Bob McNeely White House Photo Office via Wikipedia

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 10:20 am

Toward the end of his life, President Richard Nixon found some redemption by secretly advising President Bill Clinton on foreign issues.

New declassified documents, on display at the Nixon Library, released by the Clinton Library and obtained by the Associated Press, show that Nixon sent Clinton a letter after he won the presidency.

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Around the Nation
7:20 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Pain Is 'Deep,' 'Indescribable' For Gun Victim Pendleton's Mother

Cleopatra Pendleton (left) is consoled by her sister Kimiko Pettis on Jan. 30.
Charles Rex Arbogast AP

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 9:24 am

Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton was leading a meeting at work last month when she got a phone call any mother would call horrific. Her 15-year-old daughter, Hadiya Pendleton, had been shot while with friends on Chicago's South Side.

"I went into temporary shock, I grabbed my nearest coworker ... [and said] 'Help me understand what they're saying, because clearly they're not talking about my baby,'" she tells Michel Martin, host of NPR's Tell Me More. When she got to the hospital, a nurse told her Pendleton had died.

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Around the Nation
7:06 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Pendleton's Mother: 'It's My Job' To Keep Talking

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 7:20 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Just ahead, President Obama will be speaking on gun violence in Chicago tomorrow. Some feel this visit is long overdue. We'll speak with two young people who have been working to get the president to come to Chicago. We'll ask them why and what they hope to hear from him in just a few minutes.

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Around the Nation
7:06 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Chicago Youth Hopeful, Cautious Ahead of President's Visit

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 7:20 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We are going to continue our conversation about gun violence. We're focusing on Chicago. President Obama is heading there tomorrow and our next guests say it's really about time that the violence in Chicago receives this kind of high level attention and response. They're both young people living in Chicago and they've both been directly affected by violence. They say that voices like theirs are not being heard in the national gun control debates, so we are going to bring them to you now.

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The Two-Way
7:01 am
Thu February 14, 2013

'It Could Be A Lot Worse,' Triumph Passenger Says; Cruise Ship Docking At Ala. Port

Makeshift tents are seen on the deck of the Carnival cruise ship Triumph, in a photo taken Sunday, the first day it spent without engine power. The image was provided by Kalin Hill of Houston.
Kalin Hill AP

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 9:21 pm

The Carnival cruise ship Triumph docked in Mobile, Ala., late Thursday night, as the job of towing the stricken 100,000-ton ship hundreds of miles across the Gulf of Mexico took longer than expected. The ship's 3,143 passengers had coped with sewage problems and a lack of ventilation since Sunday, when the Triumph was crippled by an engine room fire.

Updated 2:15 a.m. ET Friday: All Passengers Disembarked

A spokesman for Carnival says all passengers have left the cruise ship that was stranded for days without power and running water.

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Shots - Health News
6:56 am
Thu February 14, 2013

More Women Turn To Morning-After Pill

The Plan B pill, one version of the morning-after pill, is available without a prescription, except for women 17 and younger.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

The number of women who have used emergency contraceptive pills has increased dramatically in the past decade, according to the latest government data.

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The Salt
6:23 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Bean-To-Bar Chocolate Makers Dare To Bare How It's Done

Askinosie buys beans directly from small farmers. The goal: better quality control, and more cash to the growers.
Bob Linder Courtesy of Askinosie Chocolate

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 9:11 am

If you're looking to buy chocolate in San Francisco this Valentine's Day, just follow your nose down Valencia Street. "A lot of people walk in [and say], 'Oh, my gosh, the smell!" says Cameron Ring, co-owner of Dandelion Chocolate.

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The Two-Way
6:14 am
Thu February 14, 2013

'Prisoner X' Mystery Puts Spotlight On Israel's Spy Agency

The "prisoner x" story is front page news in Australia.
William West AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 4:40 am

This sounds like something from a spy novel, but it's the top of a real-life Associated Press story today:

"He was known as Prisoner X, his crimes unknown. For months he languished in an Israeli prison until he was he was found dead in his cell in an apparent suicide. Later, rumors would swirl that he was an Australian-Israeli who worked for the Israeli secret service Mossad.

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Business
6:02 am
Thu February 14, 2013

How The American-US Airways Merger Might Affect You

A US Airways plane rests near two American Airlines jets at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport last year. The combined carrier would be named American Airlines.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 12:24 pm

American Airlines and US Airways on Thursday announced they plan to merge to create the country's largest airline, with a route network stretching from coast to coast, and covering large swaths of Latin America, Europe, Canada, the Caribbean and Africa.

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Business
5:22 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway To Buy Heinz

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 10:05 pm

Warren Buffett is teaming up with another big investor in the $28 billion deal. Berkshire Hathaway has been looking for places to invest, with other recent deals involving consumer icons Coca-Cola and Mars.

The Two-Way
4:49 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Warren Buffett Puts Heinz In His Pantry

J.B. Reed Landov

The Oracle of Omaha is again showing he's got a taste for companies that make the kinds of food many Americans love.

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway is joining with the Brazilian investment group 3G Capital to buy H.J. Heinz Co. for $23.3 billion. Add in the debt that the new owners will assume and the deal's value grows to $28 billion, Buffett's company says.

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The Two-Way
4:05 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Jobless Claims Fell By 27,000 Last Week

The number of people filing first-time clams for unemployment insurance fell by 27,000 last week, to 341,000 from 368,000 the week before.

The Employment and Training Administration also reports that the "4-week moving average was 352,500, an increase of 1,500." That average, in theory, gives a better picture of the trend.

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The Two-Way
3:45 am
Thu February 14, 2013

'I Thought We Were Dead,' Says One Of Cop Killer's Hostages

Karen and Jim Reynolds.
AP video

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 8:05 am

The two people held hostage Tuesday by former Los Angles police officer Christopher Jordan Dorner say they expected the worst after they discovered Dorner inside a vacation property they own near the Big Bear mountain resort.

"I thought we were dead," said James Reynolds. "Really, pretty scary."

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Shots - Health News
3:40 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Scientists Pass The Hat For Research Funding

Car commercial? Nope. Jessica Richman, Zachary Apte (center) and William Ludington are looking to the crowd for money to fund uBiome, which will sequence the genetic code of microbes that live on and inside humans.
Courtesy of uBiome

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 8:28 am

When the X-ray was invented, people clamored to get one. Not for any medical reason, but just to see what was typically hidden inside their bodies.

Something like that seems to be happening with DNA sequencing technology. First it was companies offering to sequence people's genomes. Now it's learning all about your microbiome, the collection of microorganisms living on and in your body.

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The Two-Way
3:05 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Book News: LBJ And Lady Bird Johnson's Love Letters Go Public

Lady Bird Johnson and President Lyndon Johnson at an election rally in 1964.
Terry Fincher Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 5:02 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Sports
2:40 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Pistorius In Custody After Girlfriend's Death

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 10:05 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Around the Nation
2:31 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Canada Is Ready For Attacking Zombies

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 10:05 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer. This summer, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Preparedness 101, a just-in-case guide for of a zombie pandemic. Yesterday, a Canadian parliament member asked the foreign minister how his country's preparing for zombies. The foreign minister said he's dedicated to the proposition that...

(SOUNDBITE OF PARLIAMENT SESSION)

JOHN BAIRD: Canada will never become a safe haven for zombies, ever.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Here, here!

The Two-Way
2:27 am
Thu February 14, 2013

'Blade Runner' Oscar Pistorius In Custody After Girlfriend's Shooting Death

Oscar Pistorius of South Africa leaves the starting blocks of the men's 400-meter race at the 2012 London Olympics.
Michael Steele Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 8:50 am

Our most recent update was added at 1:45 p.m. ET.

South African Paralympic and Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius "has been charged with the murder of his girlfriend," The Associated Press reports from Pretoria.

Reeva Steenkamp was shot and killed inside Pistorius' home early Thursday, police say.

The AP adds that:

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Animals
2:22 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Pets Feel The Love On Valentine's Day

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 10:05 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Chocolate is bad for dogs and cats, but that doesn't mean they won't be feeling the love on this Valentine's Day. The National Retail Federation says Americans will spend more than $800 million on gifts for their pets - from heart-shaped treats to heart-healthy vitamins. And in honor of Valentine's Day, the ASPCA hosted an online dating show to match humans and animals in need of a home. They called that event "Puppy Love." It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Africa
1:51 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Olympic Athlete Charged With Girlfriend's Murder

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 2:40 am

Oscar Pistorius has been charged with murder after his girlfriend was shot dead Thursday at his home in South Africa. Pistorius is the sprinter and double-amputee known as "Blade Runner."

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